Dolls' Houses Past & Present

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Quick Makes and Easy Patchwork by Valerie Towers

Quick Makes

Some of these ideas are my own and some I got from Pinterest.

Balls of Wool

My favourite idea has to be the balls of wool for which you will need: Pony beads, 1 ply wool or Embroidery silk, a darning needle & Glue.

The instructions on Pinterest say glue the end of the thread into the bead but I tie it & hide the knot inside the bead.

Thread the needle & keep going round & round through the bead until it is full & then just push the needle back through the inside threads & leaving a small tuft at one end cut the thread.  You need a small strip of paper to wrap around the ball as a ball band.  This can be a reduced photocopy of a real one or for the arty among you, draw your own.  Glue the ends & hey presto!


No pony beads?  Use a short length of drinking straw.


Hat stands

Materials:  golf tee, large wooden bead, button & glue.

Self explanatory this one!  If I had some plastic wood filler I would have filled the hole in the top but a hat will hide it so not essential!

The hat is the cap & housing from a pineapple drink carton covered with silk flowers.



Cake Stand Covers

Small Clear plastic lid, small glass bead & glue.

Cut the lid down if it is too tall, I used a hacksaw & then pared off any rough or uneven edges with a craft knife, then stick the bead on the top or anything suitable for a handle.



Top Hat

The top hat is part of the plunger of a spray cleaner bottle.

Paint with black, let it dry then glue a band of black ribbon around it.




I knew one day I would find a use for the spring inside the dispenser!

Using a pair of pliers, pull out the spring a little to make it longer & easier to bend.  Fold in half & push the two ends into each other & push a piece of cocktail stick up into the slotted ends, secure with a dab of Super Glue.




Wedding Cake

This is just white plastic lids of diminishing size stuck together & decorated with a Christmas flower cut up.

You could use the lids as a base & “ice” them with air drying clay.

I am sure that you can improve on these ideas, happy modelling!


© Valerie Towers

Easy Patchwork

My daughter gave me a bag of scraps from her Patchwork class, mainly strips, some of selvedge & some just fabric.

I stuffed them in my “might come in useful drawer” & forgot about them.

Then I fancied making a patchwork quilt in 1/12th scale.  I retrieved them & fiddled about as you do & then a brainwave struck!  Why don’t I weave them?  Trim any “furry” bits off the strips before you start.

The strips were approx ¾ of an inch wide & differing lengths.

I found a piece of polystyrene & the pictures show how I made the quilt (in the fruit pattern) and a rug (in Christmas patterns).  I ran a line of All Purpose glue along the edges before I unpinned them from the base just to hold them together. Add a backing if you like & then bind the edges.

The finished size is 4 ½ inches X 6 inches but that is because my polystyrene was that size.  The rugs or quilts can be any size you want.

The only chore is that you will need to go over the finished weaving with a small, sharp pair of scissors to remove any loose threads or whiskers!

An alternative is to use ribbon or bought bias binding to weave with & then there are no ragged edges. Have fun!










Back of the Christmassy rug


 Showing edging and backing of the fruit-patterned quilt



© Valerie Towers

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